Gunscape is a super enthusiastic tribute to old school shooters like Quake and Doom, but we can’t help but feel that a few very important details have been lost in translation.
Released on Steam way back in 2016, the game doesn’t feel like a great fit for the Switch from the off. It’s a slightly grungy first person shooter title that asks its community to create levels and share them with other players, and isn’t hugely user friendly to those new to the genre.
Whether it’s been released on Nintendo’s system to revive a flagging userbase we don’t know, but it’s been priced smartly considering the age of the game (even if the Seismic DLC will cost you extra).
The aesthetics are very Quake 2, but perhaps even more basic than that – with large polygonal enemies and environments to explore and/or create.
There’s a range of modes – deathmatches, co-op, and solo campaigns – and it’s undeniable there’s a lot of content to get through here. The big question is whether any of it is any cop. And the answer is…some of it.
The core mechanics are not terrible. There’s a good range of weapons, the foes you’ll face all have fairly unique attack patterns, and there’s even some decent sound design to make things genuinely scary at times.
Sadly it just all feels a little clunky – whereas a tightly designed title such as Quake or even the original Doom do not. Where those games had mechanics that felt tightly screwed together, Gunscape feels more than a little loose.
Firing weapons never feels hugely satisfying, enemies never react in a particularly convincing way – despite their movements being genuinely creepy at times.
If you can jive with the slightly janky nature of Gunscape there’s a lot to enjoy here though. Emphasis on a lot, as there is stacks of content to get through.
A admirable attempt at opening up the world of FPS level creation to a wider audience, Gunscape is perhaps a little too grungy for complete newbies to the genre – and those more experienced at shooters might be better off simply learning how to use the likes of TrenchBroom.